Data reveals Australians favour mature brands

By Sarah Stowe | 29 Oct 2015 View comments

Market research house 10 Thousand Feet has today announced its Topfranchise Awards, with a number of well established brands making the cut.

Ian Krawitz, head of intelligence at 10 Thousand Feet said the study highlights that brands with significant history are embracing the ‘adapt and thrive’ mentality, a move that is proving popular with franchisees.  

"With age comes experience and established Australian franchises know they have to adapt to new technologies and to new business and management practices to survive.

"We've heard a lot about this in terms of businesses changing to meet customer needs but it’s just as important to understand what needs to change to keep franchisees happy and successful," he said. 

For the first time, 100 year old bakery-caf_ chain Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses made the list, taking out fourth position. 

CEO Steve Plarre said the Melbourne-based company had recently undergone a cultural evolution to enhance its relevance with franchisees. 

"When the new management team took the reins in 2012 we invited everyone down to the bakery for a barbecue and a beer to have a chat and take input on how the business could improve.

"Previously store visits to franchisees saw 75 percent of time spent on auditing and compliance and 25 percent on business support, now we’ve flipped it the other way around,” he explained. 

Franchisees are at the centre of the bakehouses’ new vision, and it seeks that they are actively involved with the brand. “It is important to have franchisees buy in to any cultural change," added Plarre. 

"When we spoke about our new vision for the business we shared with our franchisees that ‘we’re going to love you more than ever before but we’re also going to ask a lot more of you than ever before and if you don’t like it, that's OK too, just put your hand up and we will do our very best to help you exit the business elegantly.’” 

The new vision has been well received, and the brand plans to increase its presence in the coming months.

“No franchisee exited the business and just one year on we will open six more stores before Christmas, we have plans to double to 120 stores in Victoria, we’ve opened four stores in QLD and we’ll expand into NSW in the next six months. Franchisee satisfaction levels across our 58 locations soared,” Plarre said. 

Key cutting, engraving and shoe repair franchise Mister Minit, which first opened its doors in 1957, values the insights of its customers and franchisees, a move that saw it place second on the list.

"We survey our franchisees every six months across a set of key areas and are constantly in contact to get ideas on how we can improve and service them and our customers better. One area that we have recently responded to is creating an online stock and logistics system,” said CEO Mark Rusbatch. 

"The system has been designed to improve the levels of internal service and assist our franchisees to deliver an outstanding offer to our customers.” 

Established in 1972, V.I.P. Home Services made the list for the very first time, coming in at number seven. “Staying relevant is about regularly revisiting the best way to approach any process. It may sound simple but we recently decided to create a franchisee hotline for all internal communications to be channelled.” 

"Our franchisees now get a more rapid response to quick questions and our state managers have freed up time for more in depth one-on-one sessions with franchisees,” CEO Paul Robinson said. 

Award winners:

1. Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisers
2. Mister Minit
3. Kwik Kopy
4. Ferguson Plarre Bakehouses
5. Anytime Fitness
6. Snap-On Tools
7. V.I.P Home Services
8. Snooze
9. PoolWerx
10. Mrs. Fields